Other Works


Other Works

Dorrance Dance's repertoire includes commissioned, site-specific, and shorter works of choreography created during and prior to the company's existence. 


Basses Loaded

2019, 14 min, 4 dancers, 4 musicians
Choreography by Michelle Dorrance
with solo improvisation by the dancers
Music by Donovan Dorrance and Gregory Richardson with Kate Davis and Michelle Dorrance
Costume Design by Andrew Jordan
Lighting Design by Kathy Kaufmann

Basses Loaded has been commissioned by New York City Center. Support for new dance works at City Center is provided by the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation and Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

““Basses Loaded,” for four tappers and four basses (two electric, two standing), had choreography for all, with the instrumentalists circling or closing in on the dancers. At the core of the action was Elizabeth Burke, who tore up the stage in a deft and impassioned solo. Ms. Dorrance watched from behind her electric bass, looking as natural on the periphery as she does in the limelight.” - Siobhan Burke, The New York Times



2018, 70min, 11 dancers, 3 musicians
Choreography: Michelle Dorrance and Nicholas Van Young in collaboration with the performers
Additional Choreography: Ephrat “Bounce” Asherie and Matthew “Megawatt” West
Original Music: Donovan Dorrance, Gregory Richardson, Aaron Marcellus
Featuring Original Composition “Stridulations for Dorrance” by Billy Martin
Additional Music: Charles Mingus

Elemental has been developed in part during the Harkness Dance Residency at BAM Fisher.
Underwriting support for this work is provided by Anh-Tuyet Nguyen and Robert Pollock.
Hand crafted instruments provided courtesy of artist Adam Morford of MorfBeats, www.morfbeats.com

"Elemental is all about playing together, musically and otherwise. Choreographed with Nicholas Van Young from Dorrance’s early, Stomp days, the piece is also elemental in emphasising the most fundamental thing about music — that it depends on contact. Most often in tap, metal hits wood. But here the palette extended to water and air as well as the sounds the body alone can make: the finger snaps, stomach pats, scats, and so on. Elemental is deeply charming in its whimsy…” - Apollinaire Scherr, Financial Times

All Good Things Come to an End

2018, 30min, 4 dancers
Choreography: Michelle Dorrance, Hannah Heller, Melinda Sullivan, Josette Wiggan-Freund
Music: Artie Shaw and Fats Waller

All Good Things Come to an End (2018) was commissioned by Jacob’s Pillow Dance and the Chervenak-Nunallé Foundation, and was created in part during a residency at the Pillow Lab.

All Good Things Come to an End (2018) was also created, in part, during a residency made possible by Josh Hilberman, Stephanie Detry, and the Claquettes Club in Liege, Belgium.

"In “All Good Things Come to an End,” the music of Fats Waller frames a series of ironic tableaux... Alternating with Waller were unaccompanied tap ensembles, rich tapestries of sound, layered, complex, telling their truths in their own tap world... we couldn’t resist tapping our feet, gasping at the brilliant fusion of riff and gesture, and connecting to overwhelming personal narratives." - Carolyn and Eli Newberger, The Berkshire Edge



Until The Real Thing Comes Along (a letter to ourselves)

2017, 20min, 4 dancers
Choreography: Michelle Dorrance, Melinda Sullivan, Josette Wiggan-Freund, Jillian Meyers, Hannah Heller
Music: Fats Waller

Underwritten by AT Nguyen and Robert Pollack

"Four women entertain the audience to the Nth degree, then gradually reveal the complex characters behind the shiny facade. A brilliant idea, tapped out with gonzo technical chops and energy, each woman her own person, their camaraderie touching." - Wendy Perron, Dance Magazine

Works & Process Rotunda Project:
Michelle Dorrance with Nicholas Van Young 

2017, 35min, 16 dancers/musicians
Choreography: Michelle Dorrance, Nicholas Van Young
Original Music: Donovan Dorrance, Michelle Dorrance, Gregory Richardson, Nicholas Van Young

Works & Process Rotunda Project: Michelle Dorrance with Nicholas Van Young was commissioned by Works & Process at the Guggenheim.

"The 40 minute piece was funny yet breathtaking, endlessly entertaining but compositionally brilliant, and as interesting aurally as it was visually." – Courtney Escoyne, Dance Magazine


Delta to Dusk

2014, 60min, 9 dancers, 5 musicians
Choreography: Michelle Dorrance
Music: Etta James, Muddy Waters, Chris Whitley, The Beatles, Regina Spektor, Fiona Apple, the Squirrel Nut Zippers, Manu Chao, Radiohead, Stevie Wonder, Dave Brubeck, Jimmy Reed, Nat King Cole, Cole Porter. (Subject to changes and additions)

“”Delta to Dusk,”… is an easily digestible piece of concert dance. The 60-minute program is packed full of texture and sound, using the genre of tap as pure entertainment. “Delta to Dusk” is easy to watch and the audience doesn’t have to work hard to enjoy it. Michelle Dorrance’s choreography finds layers and syncopations within each song that the original artist may have never imagined on their own. Through a series of solos, small groups in unison and duets, “Delta to Dusk” explores dance as a musical outlet. Each dancer is a strong soloist and together they are even stronger. Unison moments prove to be the most powerful, and small groups create comedy with panache." – Stephanie Burg, The Post and Courier

The Twelve/Eight

2012, 6-11min, 5-10 dancers
Choreography: Michelle Dorrance

“One of the most effective numbers was simply tap at its most elemental… layered, contrapuntal rhythms thundered with a thrilling, irresistible groove” – Karen Campbell, The Boston Globe



Jungle Blues

2012, 9min, 6-10 dancers
Choreography: Michelle Dorrance
Music: Branford Marsalis
- video excerpt -

“The world premiere of “Jungle Blues” unleashed undulating torsos, rolling hips, and shimmying shoulders. Knees and feet swiveled side to side like well-oiled levers, and dancers slid across the floor and balanced on toes. Chris Broughton showed off acrobatic splits and flips.” – Karen Campbell, The Boston Globe

Three to One

2011, 7.5min, 3 dancers
Choreography: Michelle Dorrance
Music: Aphex Twin, Thom Yorke
- video excerpt -

” …an odd, seemingly impossible marriage of tap and modern dance that came off edgy, seductive and smart.” – Sid Smith, The Chicago Tribune

““Three to One’’ put a tap-shoed Dorrance in between two barefoot dancers, Scott Nicholson and Mishay Petronelli. Stark lighting highlighted feet that skittered, knees swiveling in and out, bodies twisting side to side, casting the contrast between bare feet and hard shoes into sharp relief.” – Karen Campbell, The Boston Globe

“Dorrance and barefoot guest Mishay Petronelli, both wrapped in black tulle from chest to upper thigh, did side-by-side steps that demonstrated how the shoe itself reflexively changes the quality and effect of the movement. In a second section… with her long hair whipping around her red-lipsticked face and her feet tearing up the stage at the mercy of powerful long legs, (Dorrance) punctuated her rhythms with vocals.” – Jonelle Seitz, The Austin Chronicle


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Remembering Jimmy

2011, 7min, 7-15 dancers
Choreography: Michelle Dorrance
- video excerpt -

“Ms. Dorrance’s “Remembering Jimmy”… created in honor of Jimmy Slyde, who was known for his slide step… pays homage to a tap master in both adoring and unaffected terms. It’s hypnotic; the stage is alive with slippery footsteps as dancers – dressed in white and wearing socks – slide from side to side like a flock of ghostly speed skaters.” – Gia Kourlas, The New York Times

a Petite Suite  (a Petite Suite Revisited)

2010-2011, 11, 13, or 17min, 5-7 dancers
Choreography: Michelle Dorrance
Music: Fiona Apple, The Squirrel Nut Zippers, Manu Chao (also Jaco Pastorius, Louis Prima, Prince)
- video excerpt -

“A petite suite (revisited)” vividly showcased the stylistic variety in Dorrance’s work, from the hard-stomping precision of “the Machine” to the rubbery-limbed looseness of “the Rag” to folk-tinged line dance in “the Waltz.” The group’s men got to tear it up in “the Boys,” with a sassy, swishy-hipped Nicholas Young, outfitted in gold headband and shorts, camping it up hilariously.” – Karen Campbell, The Boston Globe



The Blues in "D"

2009, 20min, 5-8 dancers
Choreography: Michelle Dorrance
Music: Big Maybelle, Etta James, Jimmy Reed, Chris Whitley, Bessie Smith (or Trixie Whitley)
- video excerpt -

“Dorrance herself cut loose … unfurling ripples of delicate taps or hammering out aggressive heel stomps, periodically springing into the air, limbs angled off center or flexed feet tapping heels like ballet beats.” – Karen Campbell, The Boston Globe

A Suite for the City

2005-2007, 8min, 8-10 dancers
Choreography: Michelle Dorrance
Music: Fiona Apple, The Beatles
- video excerpt -

“…the piece brings out the latent menace of the song. The Beatles and modern-style tap are an unlikely combination, but in this case an extremely effective one.” – Judy Weightman,The Broad Street Review

“With its anonymous crowds and clenched gestures, this work also captured the song’s pathos.” – Robert Johnson, The New Jersey Star-Ledger

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2004, 2min, 1-5 dancers
Choreography: Michelle Dorrance
Music: Bluegrass Reunion
- video excerpt -

At a full sprint, soloists capture the rapid-fire percussion as well as the quirky character innate in the unique sound-staples of bluegrass: the mandolin, the banjo and the fiddle.